In Thursday’s (5/14) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Elizabeth Bloom previews the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s world premiere this weekend of the orchestral version of Jake Heggie’s The Work at Hand. The piece is based on a poem by Laura Morefield “about the process of saying goodbye following a cancer diagnosis…. Written for principal cellist Anne Martindale Williams and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton (making her Heinz Hall debut), The Work at Hand is a combination of sorts of song cycle, chamber work, opera and concerto. Along with pianist Bradley Moore, the pair gave the world premiere of a chamber version of the piece in February at Carnegie Hall…. The poem compares the work of saying goodbye to making origami and striking the yoga pose known as Warrior I…. The cello, in Mr. Heggie’s view, expresses emotions that cannot be communicated in words, like a gut feeling. ‘It’s my favorite instrument, because it’s so vocal, the range of it is so extraordinary, and it’s a way to express the spirit,’ he said…. Mr. Heggie will give a pre-concert talk on the stage an hour before Friday’s performance. The concert also features composer-of-the-year Mason Bates’ Alternative Energy (a PSO premiere) and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra.” Conductor Michael Francis leads the program.
Posted May 14, 2015